Serpentine Symbology: Representations of Snakes in Art

Class Year


Document Type

Digital Project

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1



Throughout human history, the serpent has been a feared and revered figure in art, captivating human imagination and being depicted across the globe. This website will explore and examine the significance of snakes in art from a global perspective during the Renaissance period (circa 1400-1700 AD). Serpents have been depicted as fierce but protective deities across a multitude of cultures, from Mesoamerica to the empires in Southeast Asia, while also being seen as aggressive creatures that invoke fear. Depictions range from intricately stylized to strikingly naturalistic through their forms. Through examining the depictions of serpents in works of art from the Renaissance period, we can gain a deeper understanding of their roles within human culture and history.


Created for ARTH 245: Arts of the Global Renaissance.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.